What are Common Mental Health Concerns for Veterans?

How much do you know about the mental health struggles of America’s veterans?

It’s no secret that this is an enormous obstacle, but many of us can’t fathom the full magnitude of the problem. In fact, it’s one of the most consistent issues we focus on as volunteers at SRQ Vets. We see a lot of debilitating mental health ailments among our benefactors around Sarasota, but the issues of anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and loneliness are ubiquitous these days.

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Most Common Mental Health Concerns for Veterans

  1. PTSD
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder originates from all kinds of traumatic experiences: car accidents, sexual assault, watching someone die in combat, and several other turbulent stressors in the military. Sometimes it stems from something physical, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whereas other times it comes from a vivid psychological episode. Many vets suffer from horrific flashbacks and PTSD can flare up from several different triggers. One of the most well-known examples of PTSD, once known as “shell shock” manifests in the thousand-yard stare, where you can see the languishing in someone’s eyes.  
  2. Depression/Anxiety
    • These devastating conditions can harm veterans in so many ways. Problems could take the form of bad moods, agitation, irritability, fear, and difficulty maintaining relationships. Severe complications include heart palpitations, panic attacks, and other mental/physical ailments.
  3. Insomnia
    • America faces a serious pandemic of sleep deprivation for a myriad of reasons, but we find this problem even more chronically among veterans. Insomnia often ties into the other conditions and can make holding down a job almost insurmountable for retired service members.
  4. Loneliness
    • This one’s more amorphous because many veterans may enjoy healthy solitude, depending on their temperament. However, there are other cases where a vet struggles to re-acclimate into civilian society, resulting in significant social deprivation. It can manifest in employment difficulties and limited friendship opportunities. Therefore, spending time with veterans is always one of the best ways to counteract a variety of mental stress and suffering.

So, if you know someone with these conditions, be mindful of their circumstances, and learn ways to help them cope with their circumstances. Most of the time, kindness and charity go a long way in healing or regaining a sense of normalcy.

SRQ Vets invites you to get involved in helping veterans with us in the Sarasota-Bradenton community. There are several ways to assist veterans to cope with TBIs, depression, anxiety, and other mental/physical disabilities. Contact us anytime to learn more by calling 941-777-8387.

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